Windies U-19 team capable of bringing home World Cup Trophy
… says coach Clyde Butts By Faizool Deo
Guyana Chronicle
January 22, 2004

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FORMER Guyana and West Indies off-spinner Clyde Butts is optimistic that the Under-19 West Indies team is capable of bringing home the 2004 U-19 World Cup Trophy when they clash with 15 other teams from February 15 in Bangladesh.

Butts, who himself is on a quest since this is the first time that he is getting the opportunity to coach a West Indies team at any level, leaves for Trinidad and Tobago today where he is expected to hold a short encampment with the team, before leaving for Sri Lanka on Sunday where the team is expected to play four practice one-day matches before heading for Bangladesh.

Chronicle Sport yesterday caught up with the Guyana Cricket Board Cricket Development Officer, who said that he is extremely confident that his team will do well since they are strong in all departments of the game.

“Personally I think that we have a good all-round side. When we look at the composition of the team, we would see that we have some players who are expected to give a good account of themselves,” the coach quipped.

In the bowling department, there is Ravi Rampaul, who runs in really hard. (Rampaul) is currently with the Senior West Indies team in South Africa, but will join the U-19 team in Bangladesh, while Barrington Yearwood and Mervin Matthews are expected to lend good support. For the batting, Lendl Simmons and Assad Fudadin are expected to do extremely well, since both players played relatively well in the first two rounds of the Carib Beer competition.

It was also announced that a lot of energy has been placed on the fielding aspect of the team so this is one area where the side is expected to excel.

The squad is expected to leave Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday and arrive in Sri Lanka on January 27 for a pre-tournament camp..

The Windies U-19 squad’s first practice match is on January 31 at the NCC ground, the second, third and fourth matches will be on February 2, 4 and 6.

Butts feels these matches will be extremely important for the team for two reasons. One is the team will be together since the last time they practised together was during a two-week encampment in December. The other is the fact that his players will get a field of the Sri Lankan pitches, which are similar to those in Bangladesh.

The squad will not suffer for lack of experience. Two players Ravi Ramphal and Lendl Simmons were in the 2002 World Cup side, while the five others are past West Indies U-15 players. The five others are Guyana’s own Assad Fudadin, Denesh Ramdin, former U-15 captain Tishan Maraj, Lionel Baker and Xavier Marshall.

Even though this is the first time that Butts will coach a West Indies side, he has had lots of success at the national level.

In 1996 Butts was in charge of the U-15 team and then the senior Guyana side in 1997, 1998 and 2001, winning two Red Stripe Bowl competitions, while seeing his team emerging as joint winners with the Leeward Islands in the regional four-day competition in 1998.

The preliminary round of matches in the YWC 2004 will be played on a round robin basis and will have 16 teams in four groups.

Young West Indies will be in Group D, along with Pakistan, Ireland and Papua New Guinea.

Dinesh Ramdin (captain), Kirk Edwards (vice-captain), Jonathan Augustus, Rishi Bachan, Lionel Baker, Assad Fudadin, Zamal Khan, Tishan Maraj, Xavier Marshall, Mervyn Matthew, Ravi Rampaul, Liam Sebastien, Lendl Simmons, Barrington Yearwood.

Manager: Roland Sampath; Coach: Clyde Butts.